If you love math but struggle with reading, you probably have no problem sitting down and knocking out your math homework, but you might put off doing your reading assignment until the last minute (or even “forget” to do it altogether!). Or maybe you usually love helping your mom with yard work, except when she asks you to weed the flower bed while your friends down the street are building a huge fort together. It’s easy to do jobs that are convenient or fun, but it takes a lot of discipline to do what needs to be done when you don’t want to do it.
God asked Noah to do something that wasn’t convenient or fun, and it probably didn’t even make much sense to Noah. He commanded Noah to build a giant boat called an ark that was big enough to hold not just his family, but also two of every animal on the entire earth. God said He was going to send a flood that would wipe out every living thing that wasn’t on the ark. It was a big, high-pressure job that would involve a lot of time and hard work.
There may have been times that Noah wanted to give up. Building a boat that size, especially without the technology and tools we have today, would have been tough. It probably wasn’t a very fun season for Noah as he built the ark. But Genesis 6:22 says, “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” He disciplined himself to do a difficult job because he knew he would come out better on the other side.
In the third episode of “The Last Portal?,” Dex, River, and Darius are desperately trying to reach the Sanctuary so they can re-form the Heart of the Universe. They’re already tired and hungry, and their quest doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. Check out this clip to hear what happens when they stumble across the chance for a shortcut:
River knew that what appears to be easier isn’t always the best way, so she convinced Dex and Darius to listen to the warning by the stairs and climb the rocks instead. Because of her discipline, the group avoided some painful obstacles that could have ended their quest. Climbing the rocks was hard, but making the wise choice ensured that they reached the Sanctuary.
Ask yourself: Are there any ways you have good discipline? What are some areas where it’s hard for you to have good discipline?
Challenge yourself: Start a good habit. Discipline can help you replace any bad habits you might have, like watching too much TV or aggravating your siblings, with good habits, like getting plenty of rest and exercise or doing kind things for other people. A habit forms when you do something over and over again until it becomes more natural, so discipline yourself to form a new good habit!
Pray: God, thank You for always being with me and helping me when I have to do things that aren’t fun or easy. Teach me to rely on You and show discipline when I feel tired or discouraged. In Jesus’ name, amen.